Getting to Know Jose Luis Rocha

Freedom. The freedom of knowing that age is what allowed designer Jose Luis Rocha to realize that everything is possible. It gives him a completely relaxed mood when creating the next pieces for his collection. With no board to please, guidelines, and not needing to “sell to eat” liberates him from a pressure most designers have.

“When I finished design school and came back from Europe I was very exited to create “Mexican” designs that will have something to do with culture, geography, and materials available in the country but I was crushed to see that most of the manufacturers just copy whatever is coming from Italy or Spain. They would go to the trade shows and asked us to copy styles, I hated that! Now I control my factory completely and I am finally happy to have the creative freedom to do what I want.”


The creating process without a doubt is Rocha’s favourite part of being a designer. He enjoys that he can translate visions into products.

“It is very transcendent when an idea, a feeling, or even an aroma becomes a wallet, jacket, or shoe. I find it challenging to mix different medias, experiment with tanneries, and explore new processes always respecting the traditional designs.”

At what Jose likes to call “old age” he has other business interests. One of them allows him to have a view on interior design for the hospitality industry. This gives Jose the chance to furnish fixtures, furniture, and equipment for the highest hotel brands with properties in Mexico. He is a designer no matter what.


Being humble and proud at the same time are a result of being the first Mexican shoe designer to get into the USA market. Everyone that has tried, purchased, or reviewed Jose’s products have had great things to say about quality, fit, and forward design.

Obstacles from perspectives, more than realities, are what Rocha has had to face. Once Jose started coming to trade shows with his brand, retailers frowned upon the “Made in Mexico” portion of the Jose Luis Rocha logo.

“There is no way I would ever do that. I am a proud Mexican and I am completely behind the quality of my designs and processes. I respect Italians and Spaniards as my equally. No more, no less.”

Jose’s has invested his family’s money into his adventure and has all their support and belongs. That scared him but he is sure he will be a success.


The elegance of the past. Rocha firmly believes that trendiness is a phase and elegance is a virtue. He sees well-dressed men on the street wearing their own fashion, whether they are casual looks or formal. Many times, he is unable to identify the brand or quality of fabric they are wearing, but he knows they look amazing. That inspires him. The new Jose Luis Rocha collection is about to giving you the tools to get your style, not his. The fact that he is taking his family name and making something beautiful that is both accepted and cherished by the public, makes everything worth while.

To Jose, life is a chain of accomplishments and there is always more to conquer. One of the high points in Jose’s career is when bloggers and people that work for other venerable shoe brands ask for his shoes. It makes him happy and drives him to move forward.

Introducing Jaime Elyse of Couture Bridal

Having a successful fashion brand is in no way easy. For Jaime Elyse of Couture Bridal, goals are a large part of growing and keeping her label moving forward. So far, the goals that Jaime is most proud of include over 16 featured covers, editorial spreads with an international reach. She started her career at a young age that she doesn’t remember having any other professional interests other than being a mother.

“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be both.”

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It is believed that everyone has a gift. Elyse has always been able to look at a design or a piece of clothing and see the construction as a puzzle; how the pattern is cut out and the way the pieces are put together. Early on in her career, she would often go to bargain stores to purchase items she planned to tear apart, just so she could see the inner workings of construction. While doing so, Elyse learned how each textile moulded, flowed and added to the designs. This really helped her become the designer she is today.

“I chose wedding couture because I loved the fairy tale that most brides dream of. Much like a wedding, owning a successful brand doesn’t just get a happily ever after. There are many obstacles, long nights, failed attempts that involve starting over and a clear direction almost always has different roads. I work hard every day and although some days are harder than others I love the feeling of success, even if it means there are some missteps along the way.”

Elyse enjoys having a bold of fabric and watching it become a beautiful gown. The details and texture that it involves is in many ways magical.

“I enjoy working for my clients and designing for their perfect day, but when it comes to my collections, many times I just let the material speak to me and that is when I fell in love with the gowns.”

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For Elyse, and many other designers, funding has been her biggest challenge. She has built a great brand on limited resources. All profit built is put back into the company. As she prepares for her upcoming Fashion Week experience, she is proud to say that she has done her best to build a brand and product that she is proud of.

Each of Elyse’s previous collections have had many different inspirations. Most of her inspiration is taken from the brides that she works with on a daily basis. She knows what brides are looking for. This new collection is inspired by a recent trip to Lake Tahoe in Northern California.

“As I sat on the lake watching the trees and waves move with the wind, I wanted to create texture and movement within my collection. I was inspired by the strength and texture of the forest and protection they offer the creatures that live within it. I wanted to create a collection that would be empowering.”

Having clients walk into her boutique because they saw a gown and thought, “I have to have it” is the best feeling to Elyse. She enjoys being able to share her designs and talent with other people and to see the joy in their eyes when they wear a piece from her collection or a piece that she has custom designed for them. To sum it up in three little words, “It is priceless.”

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Strength. That is the only word that can be used to describe Elyse’s new collection. She loves a structured bodice with texture and definition. When Elyse was inspired for this new collection, she found materials that seemed strong and powerful on the bolt and moulded them into wedding couture to add depth, texture, and volume. Clients aren’t just looking for romance anymore, but strength and confidence in the designs.

Successfully finishing LA Style Fashion Week was the point that Elyse realized that her hard work has paid off. The experience was truly an amazing one. After her show, Elyse sat backstage, with a Pepsi in hand, and silently watched all the hustle and bustle of the other amazing designers displayed.

“The emotional feeling was one that I will never forget. Now to be invited to grace the runway during New York Fashion Week is truly a dream come true.”

Written by Tianna Alexandre, Editor. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

Are you looking for a new writing opportunity? Perhaps you have style tips that you would like to share with the world? We value new fashion trends and are always looking for talented guest bloggers. If you’re a blogger or writer, this is the place for you to get noticed. Can you see yourself as a part of our blogging team? Apply here!

Ticket to the Tents: Day 4 Spring 2015 NYFW Trend Report

Featuring Fashion Shenzen, Nanette Lepore, Victoria Beckham, Czar by Cesar Galindo, Custo Barcelona, Vivienne Tam, DVF and Parkchoonmoo

Every fashion week, something is bound to go wrong! From losing equipment to someone being sick, and this fashion week is no exception! Our team is definitely being run through the ringer, working out technical difficulties with our laptops and  our website, but we won’t let that stop us! It’s all a part of the experience of covering New York Fashion Week. Even with our technical difficulties the team wrapped up Day 4 in one piece!


In addition to the regularly scheduled designers that show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, IMG works to bring unique shows to the venue. Fashion Shenzen is always a delight, as it features fashion designers from China.  Fashion is a universal industry, and it’s amazing to see styles and design aesthetics from around the world! The Fashion Shenzen designers featured looks made in shiny and sheer fabrics. They also favored highly embellished gowns with lots of sequins.

Fashion Shenzen Spring 2015 NYFW

Fashion Shenzen Photo 1- Spring 2015 NYFW


Custo Barcelona and DVF took us to shorter lengths with miniskirts and above the knee dresses respectively, while Nanette Lepore and Victoria Beckham featured ankle-length styles.


Custo Barcelona featured abstract prints and perforated fabrics. Vivienne Tam incorporated palm tree prints into her collection, continuing the popular tropical prints theme we’ve been seeing over the last couple days. Cesar Galindo used metallic and sequin fabrics in his collection.

DVF Spring 2015 NYFW



All white ensembles are still popular going into Day 4. Nanette Lepore featured a few all white looks, but the favored color for her collection was definitely yellow! Yellow shoes, yellow-based prints, and solid yellow dresses, Nanette let us know that yellow will be trending for Spring, and she’s not the only one. Cesar Galindo also featured yellow in his collection, along with greens, pastel oranges, and metallic.  Victoria Beckham’s spring collection was heavy on the tans & neutral colors black and white. Victoria even featured an oxblood hue that is typically reserved for Fall!

Nanette Lepore - Spring 2015 NYFW (2)

Victoria Beckham Fashion GPS


For the most part, there’s been 2 big trends for hair: Braids or slicked back and loose. I think braids will always be a popular choice for Spring & Summer!


The bigger the better! The Czar collection featured bold, colorful necklaces that would make the wearer the center of attention in any room.

Written by Shalanda Turner, Style Editor

Ticket to the Tents: Day 3 NYFW Trend Report

Featuring Mara Hoffman, Alon Livne, Amir Taghi, Anya Caliendo, Herve Leger, Malan Breton & Venexiana

For Day 3 NYFW trend report,  the team again split up to bring you maximum coverage. Style Editor, Shalanda Turner headed to the Garment District to cover Amir Taghi’s debut New York Fashion Week show, while Heather, Jeanine & Arielle covered Alon Livne. Later in the evening, our team reconvened at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to cover Malan Breton and Venexiana.


Apparently, crop tops are here to stay! Amir Taghi favored sexy crop tops that incorporated deep V-necks. Mara Hoffman’s collection featured wide-leg pants, in all lengths (culotte and full). Mara Hoffman is also the queen of maxi dresses and sent a plethora of vibrant maxi dresses down the runway. Alon Livne stayed true to his warrior woman style, presenting a fierce collection full of sparkles, cut-outs, and 3D-enhancements.



Alon Livne Spring 2015 NYFW

PHOTO CREDIT: Arielle Breedyk,


There seems to be a lot of transportation through clothes going on this week! Malan Breton presented his “Journey to Taiwan” Spring Collection, complete with dancers and musical performers.  Malan chose to use sateen-finish fabrics for the majority of his collection.  At a minimum, Malan Breton showed 60 looks last night.  He may win the award for the most extensive runway presentation during fashion week!


PHOTO CREDIT: Shalanda Turner,


As fashion week continues, we’re starting to see more and more prints. Herve Leger by Max Azria featured bold prints and embellished fabrics in their Spring 2015 collection. Tropical prints are pretty popular for Spring! Nicole Miller took us to Rio De Janeiro on Day 2, and Mara Hoffman took us to the beach with palm tree prints, and prints that resembled the sun rising over the ocean.




Lots of all white ensembles, pastels, and pops of bright color! Designers who featured tons of prints incorporated color by default, choosing vibrant and bold prints.


PHOTO CREDIT: Arielle Breedyk,


Mara Hoffman takes the baseball hat to a girlie level by adding a tie-back scarf for the cap closure.  Heather and Jeanine checked out Anya Caliendo’s hat show at St. Regis Hotel! Of course we have to feature some of Anya’a amazing work for Spring! Wearing one of these hats will definitely escalate your fashion status from blah to haute couture faster than a sale at Bloomingdales!

Anya Caliendo Spring 2015 NYFW

PHOTO CREDIT: Heather Petrey,

Ticket To The Tents: Day 2 Spring 2015 NYFW Trend Report

(Featuring Trina Turk, Charlotte Ronson, Zimmermann, Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, & Mark & Estel)

For Day 2 at New York Fashion Week, the Fashion Mingle team kicked off the day with Mark & Estel’s Spring 2015 Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. After that the team split up. Heather, Otaymah, and Jeanine covered Saunder, and conducted an interview with David Tupaz off-site, while Michelle, Jane, & Shalanda stayed at Lincoln Center to cover the shows there and conduct an interview with Nicole Miller.


Sometimes less is more as displayed by Mark & Estel.  Their collection was solely made out of cotton found in your everyday denim, sweatpants and t-shirts. How do I know? Because during their final walk, Estel Day announced it to us during their closing song performance. Attending a Mark & Estel is always fun, and it was a great way to kick-off Day 2 of New York Fashion Week.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shalanda Turner,

In stark contrast to the cotton-heavy Mark & Estel Collection, Monique Lhuillier, opted for shiny, and metallic finish fabrics such as satin and silk and glittery fabrics for her plethora of gowns and dresses.  Zimmermann also favored metallic hues in suiting.

Monique Lhuillier Shalanda Turner

Photo Credit: Shalanda Turner,


As seen on the Day 1 runways, pastels were again the favored choice amongst designers for day 2.  Charlotte Ronson featured peach, pale blue, and pale green hues and Zimmerman featured pale yellows.  And while there was a pop of pastels here and there, Trina Turk stood by her claim to fame and design aesthetic of using bold and vibrant colors. It appears that even if pastels are trending, Trina will rebel and stay bold, and who can blame her? The scene during her presentation was fun and flirty and the bold hues added to the playfulness of the collection.

Zimmermann Shalanda Turner

PHOTO CREDIT: Shalanda Turner,


Trina Turk collection’s was not only playful, but it made me think of the 60s, especially with the models wearing wide scarf headbands!  The models wore bold, statement necklaces and posed with handbags of all shapes and sizes.  Popular in both the Charlotte Ronson and Trina Turk collections were these comfortable looking sandals.  Is the gladiator sandal being replaced next season as the it-shoe for Spring? We’ll find out.

Trina Turk Shalanda Turner

PHOTO CREDIT: Shalanda Turner,


Nicole Miller’s collection stood out on Day 2 for having the most prints. Her vision of transporting her wearers to Rio De Janeiro Brazil was creatively conveyed to the audience. The models wore prints that featured birds and palm trees, while carrying luggage.  Charlotte Ronson featured a few floral prints, but overall prints were pretty minute throughout the collections with solid colors dominating day 2.


PHOTO CREDIT: Shalanda Turner,


Written by: Shalanda Turner, Style Editor

Ticket To The Tents: Day 1 Spring 2015 NYFW Trend Report

(Featuring Nicholas K, Richard Chai, BCBGMaxAzria, Tadashi Shoji, Marissa Webb, CuteCircuit, & Desigual)

It’s September! Which means we’ve arrived at another New York Fashion Week. If you’re like us, this makes September one of our favorite months of the year! In fact, we’d go so far as to agree with Instagrammer, Candy Price Pratt that “September is the January of Fashion!” New York Fashion Week officially kicked off yesterday with designers presenting their Spring 2015 Collections. The team was on the scene covering the first day of New York Fashion Week.  Representing this year, we have Fashion Mingle Style Editor, Shalanda Turner, Videographer, Michelle Elise Harding, Photographer Jane Kratochvil, and Contributors, Otaymah Bonds, Heather Petrey & Jeanine Valiente.


Nicholas K kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in their usual 9am spot on day one inside the tents.  While the draping, layers and loose silhouettes are not new to Nicholas K, their introduction of a pretty, pastel teal green was a change from the browns, tans and whites.  We’re hoping this color is a fixture in all the runways for Spring.

Nicholas K - Jane Kratochvil

PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Kratochvil,

And continuing with pastels, it appears that pastels will continue to dominate next Spring as they did this year.  Lubov and Max presented a collection for BCBGMaxAzria that included pastel pinks & blue along with a ton of white and off-white garments.  However, some designers opted to include pops of bright colors in their collections. Richard Chai featured a bold lime-yellow color for spring, and Desigual, known for bold and colorful prints did not disappoint.

Desigual - Jane Kratochvil

PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Kratochvile, 


In contrast to Desigual’s bold use of prints in every garment, most of the runways were absent of significant amounts of prints, with the designers opting for solid colors to convey their visions. If there were prints, they were mosaic and abstract in nature, versus typical floral prints that usually dominate for Spring.

BCBGMaxAzria - Jane Kratochvil

PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Kratochvil,
Long is the new black! Tadashi Shoji favored knee-length dresses and full-length gowns.  BCBGMaxAzria also went long for spring with wide-leg trousers and ankle-length skirts.   Marissa Webb featured super-chic outerwear pieces for spring from ankle-length trench coats, to peplum wind-breakers. There’s a lot of material on the runways for Spring.  Long and free flowing fabrics that offer tons of movement for the wearer.

Tadashi Shoji - Jane Kratochvil
PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Kratochvil,

Wearable Technology is all the rage right now and CuteCircuit has taken the world by storm with their technological clothing innovations.  Their collection for Spring, featured cool, digital enhancements that were incorporated into the clothes, shiny and glittery fabrics, and even digitally enhanced bathing suites! Forget wearable tech bracelets, we want the clothes version!

Written by: Shalanda Turner, Style Editor.

Shop Isabelle Donola Straight Off the NYFW Runway!

When does the love of fashion begin? For Brazil-born designer Isabelle Donola, that love started when she learned to stitch at the age of three, making Barbie clothes by the time she was six. This early passion sparked a career in fashion for Donola who has been a participant on Project Runway and is showing at this year’s New York Fashion Week.

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Growing up, Donola’s creative and imaginative eye allowed her to draw inspiration from many different art forms, ranging form cloths and textiles to metals and recycled materials. For her most recent collection, Donola was inspired by abstract shapes, well-fitted garments and oversized structural pieces.

Even after exploring various other hobbies and career opportunities, including journalism and ballet, Donola knew from a young age she was destined for the world of fashion design. With such a deep passion for every step in the design process, fashion design is more than just a job or interest, for Donola it is a necessity.

Donola was featured as a designer on popular T.V. show Project Runway on the “Under the Gunn” season and has shown at various New York and Los Angeles Fashion Week events. Donola currently has a successful fashion line “ Isabelle Donola NYC”.

F-W 13-14 campaign-1

Isabelle will be showing her new collection this Monday at New York Fashion Week. She describes the collection as:

“Nude. That was the first word that came to mind when I thought about this collection. The reflection of human nature and how people so often wear a mask. So I created a collection to evoke the naked beauty of the human being, raw in its essence and beautiful just as it is. I want people to embrace their inner beauty and extend that to their second skin. Allowing the garments to fearlessly speak to the world about who they are.”

We are very excited to have Isabelle Donola as our debut designer at New York Fashion Week. You can take a look and shop her collection live from the runway starting Monday September 8th at 4:00 p.m. EST here.

Salute the Runway Kicks-Off NYFW by Giving Back

New York Fashion Week is here – and we could not be more excited! We always look forward to seeing the fashions that will hit the runways but we are thrilled that the show that kick-starts NYFW is all about giving back!

Air Force Staff Sergeant Kayla Manthey. Photo from

Air Force Staff Sergeant Kayla Manthey. Photo from

This year, fifteen female army veterans and active-duty service women will take to the runway to raise awareness for the difficulties faced when transitioning from the military back to civilian life.

Non-for-profit organization Fatigues to Fabulous and Little Black Dress Wines are the sponsors for the Salute the Runway show that is held today at the Lincoln Centre.

These 15 women will be wearing different variations of the iconic little black from top designers including Calvin Klein, Mara Hoffman and DKNY and will have their hair and make-up professionally done by the designer’s stylists.

Along with the runway show, historic war uniforms will be on display from the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation in Washington.

To learn more about the organization and today’s event check out their Facebook page here.

The Road to DC Fashion Week: LaEsha Barnes

When you think about fashion what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many people the answer is individuality and signature style. This is the case with LaEsha Barnes the woman behind LaDeChe DCB. Her collection consists of a colorful palette, eclectic tones and daring prints. This collection accommodates the woman who does not mind standing out while still possessing a level of style and class. Barnes draws inspiration from abstract art or children, color and paint.

LaEsha Barnes got a head start in her design journey. At a young age Barnes played dress up in her mom’s closet. From there she got her true start by sketching in her mom’s kitchen on her work papers and bill envelopes. Her new collection has an overall eclectic and expression theme. It also has a very vibrant and classy feel. What is interesting is how all these elements interlock together.



One major accomplishment in LaEsha’s career is participating in the upcoming DC Fashion Week. Although, Barnes is still an up and coming designer this career achievement is a step in the right direction. Despite battling through self-doubt and facing obstacles, LaEsha remains determined. Possessing this type of work ethic has allowed Barnes to achieve her career goals of presenting in fashion shows as well as selling pieces to the general public.

LaEsha Barnes designs with a certain woman in mind. She is distinctive, not afraid of color, diverse and classy. In her latest collection she has provided women an assortment of pieces that are sure to appease even the most demanding of style. As a designer Barnes enjoys the process of thoughts in her head becoming a reality. She believes what makes the hard work and creative process all worth it is seeing the final product before your eyes. Be sure to check out LaDeChe DCB by LaEsha Barnes when she shows at the upcoming DC Fashion Week.

Written by freelance fashion blogger Tamarah. You can read her blog here!

Are you looking for a new writing opportunity? Perhaps you have style tips that you would like to share with the world? We value new fashion trends and are always looking for talented guest bloggers. If you’re a blogger or writer, this is the place for you to get noticed. Can you see yourself as a part of our blogging team? Apply here!

Introducing Leighel Desiree

Leighel Desiree is a woman with many gifts and talents. Not only is she a fabulous fashion designer, she is the author of a great book called “A Closet Full of Clothes & Nothing to Wear”, and the CEO and Head Designer of Leighel Desiree House of Fashion. Clearly this woman is a queen when it comes to multi-tasking.

It seems like Leighel was hard wired for the fashion industry from a young age as her design journey began at the age of 8. She would make her favourite Barbie dolls their very own unique dresses, unable to stand the thought of her Barbie’s looking like everyone else’s. From there she continued to grow as a young designer, designing her own graduation dress at the age of 12 on a mere toy sewing machine! Leighel amazed herself and those around her by her natural ability to design and create.  Leighel’s story is characterized by someone who knew exactly what they loved to do and attending the High School of Fashion Industries and the Fashion Institute of Technology further enabled her to enhance her passion and skills.

luevo cover image

Leighel’s favourite thing about being a designer is watching the expression on a woman’s face when she is wearing one of her designs. The excited, empowering feelings they get feed Desiree’s need to create more. There was never a question as to what she wanted to become and she says she owes that to her mother. She saw the talent and desire at an early age and kept her focused on the path to achieving her goals. When you have found something you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work and therefore you stay hungry for it.

In her new collection, Leighel was inspired by the beautiful colour combinations in fabrics. The oranges and purples reminded her of the evening sky on an exotic island which inspired the name “Exotica” for the collection. Imagine yourself walking on the beach of a beautiful tropical island, sharing kisses in the moonlight and dancing the night away, and you have Desiree’s collection. She uses fabrics, colours and textures as sources of inspiration, rather than simple resources for her designs. All of the meaning and depth in her designs are in the fabric themselves. The special ones that calls out to her saying “Make me into something beautiful” are the ones that make the cut.

This Article was written by Angie.  Follow her on twitter @Unngie.

For more on Leighel Desiree @leigheldesiree.

Are you looking for a new writing opportunity? Perhaps you have style tips that you would like to share with the world? We value new fashion trends and are always looking for talented guest bloggers. If you’re a blogger or writer, this is the place for you to get noticed. Can you see yourself as a part of our blogging team? Apply here!